ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Saudi Arabia has begun preparations for the construction of a new maritime channel along its border with Qatar which would turn the Arab peninsula into an island, the Saudi-based Sabq newspaper reported on Monday.
Saudi Arabian border guards arrived at the Salwar border crossing with Qatar in preparation to begin the construction of a maritime channel along the Saudi-Qatar border, the newspaper said.
It reported that Saudi Arabia plans to dig a 60-kilometer canal, measuring 200 meters wide and up to 20 meters deep, between the Saudi regions of Salwa and Khawr Al-Udayd which borders Qatar.
The Saudi border guards would assume control over the border crossing with Qatar, taking over from the Passport and Customs department, the report added.
According to Sabq, the project, worth an estimated 750 million USD, is still waiting for official approval before construction begins. Once approved, the building is expected to be completed by a Saudi Arabian investment consortium consisting of nine companies and will be completed within 12 months.
The newspaper added that a one-kilometer area of land north of the canal on the Qatari border would become a military zone.
There has been no official response from Qatari officials regarding the reports.
In early June 2017, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and other nations severed diplomatic and economic ties with Doha who was accused of supporting terrorism.
However, Doha vehemently denied the allegations, labeling the embargo “unjustified” and with “no basis in fact.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany